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Condo Owner Loses Unit Due to Unruly Tenant

There are risks with renting out condominium units. The case of York Condominium No. 187 v. Sandhu, 2019 ONSC 4779, demonstrates an extreme risk.

Sandhu owned a condominium unit. She leased it to a tenant.

The tenant was in constant conflict with building management and ultimately sued the condominium corporation (“YCC”) for over $5 million. The claim failed miserably. The court ordered costs of approximately $86,000 in favour of YCC.

The by-laws of YCC required any expenses paid by YCC to defend the tenant’s lawsuit, including its legal fees, to be charged to the common expenses of Sandhu’s unit. If Sandhu did not pay the expenses, the by-laws required YCC to place a lien on her unit.

Sandhu did not pay her common expenses in relation to the cost order and YCC’s legal expenses. As a result, YCC had a lien registered on Sandhu’s unit. Subsequently, YCC provided notice to Sandhu that it intended to sell her unit.

Justice Bawden held that the lien was valid. He granted YCC possession of the unit so that it can be sold.

Justice Bawden stated that it is painful to take away Sandhu’s home. However, the alternative would be to burden the other unit owners with the expenses.